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Help required for building Billings Bluenose II "600"

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John Arnold 325/12/2017 09:06:46
141 forum posts
6 photos


This is my very first boat from a kit.

Firstly I find the building instruction book not very helpful and appears to assume the reader knows a lot more than the book covers.

I have completed the building of the hull and am now attempting the attach the railings along the side and it appears the timber strips supplied are about half as thick as they should be (according to the list of parts in the book).

Does anyone know anyone who has built this boat from a kit preferably a Billings kit?

If not does anyone know of another online forum I could try.



Empire Parkstone25/12/2017 09:53:00
227 forum posts
8 photos

Tried this?

Edited By Empire Parkstone on 25/12/2017 09:56:33

Edited By Colin Bishop on 25/12/2017 10:13:04

John Arnold 325/12/2017 10:33:11
141 forum posts
6 photos

Thanks for your reply.

I had 'Googled' before but not got as many 'hits' as the url you gave does.

I got very limited 'help' by way of photos of construction which helps me work out what to do in places.

One 'hit' had the following (regarding the kit I have Billings Bluenose II "600" -

Although complete plans and instructions are included, the limited English instructions provided require critical thinking and some modification as needed. This is not a build by numbers kit, and is not for everyone. Additional technique books, and or access to the advice of an experienced wood modeler or wood model club is recommended.

I think that says it all. I have been frustrated by the instructions from day one and would never recommend Billings boat kits to anyone unless they were an expert, and then an expert might also get frustrated.

It is all the more frustrating when 4 strips of supplied pine measure half the thickness of what the instruction book lists and therefore they will not align with other parts. I will have to resort to either trying to source some balsa wood (guess that doesn't matter that it isn't pine as it will be painted) to replace the incorrect thickness pine supplied and/or the application of some filler/wood putty to build up the thickness.

The 'transom' board also did not seem to be as high as it should be.

I will 'press on' and make adjustments where needed. I may not end up with the model looking exactly like the original but only I will probably know that.



Dave Milbourn25/12/2017 11:05:45
4013 forum posts
282 photos


Some model boat kits, particularly for working models, are noted for their very complete and detailed instructions. I think it's safe to say that Billings are not! I think the problem is with the appearance of the finished box-top item, which has probably been made by a professional who made few notes as to how it was done. The beginner is hoodwinked into thinking it will like a plastic kit, with little to do except glue and paint.

Your last sentence is heartening in that you have realised that you're not up to the same skill level as the guy who built the one in the photos. As long as you are happy that you've done the best you can with this kit then all of the little errors and iffy bits will serve to inform and improve your skills for the next model. You might also be a bit more critical when examining the kit before parting with your cash!

Dave M

neil howard-pritchard25/12/2017 11:48:04
1495 forum posts
799 photos

I cut my teath with kits on the billing Bluenose and agree, the instructions were rubbish, so ere the timbers, so were the fittings, etc etc, lol.........I struggled on and eventually made it a free sailing model with a drop was ok but I learned a great deal about building models by building that model.

I also find, to their credit, they do do interesting and different low volume purchase boats that other kit companies wouldn't touch because of volume sold.

John Arnold 325/12/2017 12:01:55
141 forum posts
6 photos

Thanks Dave,

Unfortunately when you purchase a kit online you don't have the 'luxury' of "examining the kit before parting with your cash".

It is my first timber (kit) boat kit and I really did think that it would have had much more detailed instructions leaving little to the imagination.

In hindsight I should have Googled the instruction manual (which is available online) and looked at it before ordering. Oh well I learn from my mistakes.

Not sure if I will ever build another kit boat as I just wanted a model of a sailing boat/ship to display in my house and particularly liked the 'lines' of the Bluenose and had seen the real thing a few years ago when touring Nova Scotia.BUT if I do I will steer clear of Billings now from experience and what you and others have said.

I started this thread after becoming exasperated with the lack of instructions and especially over the fact the the deck railings are supposed to be added using supplied 1x4x450mm pine and what is supplied is 0.5x4x450mm which is too thin to match adjacent pieces on the bow and stern. After doing a lot of thinking I might use some of the left over 1x3x450mm strips instead of the required 1x4x450mm strips for the railing. Who except for me will know that the railing looks a little narrow.


John Arnold 325/12/2017 23:47:26
141 forum posts
6 photos

I wished I had researched this kit by joining this forum and finding out more about this kit before I bought it.

I naively thought that all would be good and the instructions would be adequate.

I just worked out that I need to somehow determine how long the bowsprit projects from the bow as there isn't even a word about mounting it and the 'list of items' describes it as being 100mm long and the actual piece is 130mm. May (BIG maybe) it projects 100mm and the other 35mm is how much is on the deck (glued).

It also doesn't describe how and exactly where to install the 'chain plates' (how they are described in the list of items/hardware).

I could go on but its 'depressing me'.

I will 'forge on' and take as much care as possible and make the fittings as per photos/videos I have viewed on this model (the "600" 1/100 scale) and others. Also use wood putty to 'fix' things where necessary.

I hope that anyone else contemplating buying this kit reads all these postings for this thread.\Problem is if you want to build the Bluenose II I have not found any kits other than by Billings.

I am off to me local hardware to purchase a sheet of 1.5mm thick sheet balsa wood and I will cut strips 4mm wide to replace the incorrect 0.5mm thick ones supplied.

John Arnold 325/01/2018 23:02:15
141 forum posts
6 photos


I am hoping you see this.

Firstly I chose the Billings brand Bluenose II from lack of knowledge on boat building and having no idea if it was ok or not - I had always wanted a model of a sailing ship/boat and saw the kit listed on Ebay. Also because of it's scale and resulting overall size as I am limited with space to display it. I have since found other brands which have far better instructions etc but usually they are too large anyway eg 1:64 scale instead of 1:100.

Now I am hoping you can help with a minor part of the model. And it's the rigging of the bowsprit to the hull. I cannot find anything in the instruction manual or looking at other built models on the internet.

As this is my very first built I really don't have a clue if the supplied thread or wire should be used and how to secure it to the front of the hull. The pictures in the instruction manual show it to be quite thick so maybe use some wire. Can you advise please. Maybe its using the 'eye bolts' to secure to the hull. They are extremely small. What did you use?



Banjoman26/01/2018 06:30:09
1142 forum posts
2414 photos


If you compare the photos of the model in the instructions with this one of the real thing (**LINK**) you should, I think, get a pretty good understanding of how the bowsprit is rigged.


John Arnold 326/01/2018 06:57:32
141 forum posts
6 photos

Thanks Mattias,

I wasn't concerned so much as to confirm my thoughts that some of the supplied wire is used for the rigging (not the supplied thread which imitates rope) and also to confirm my thoughts that one of the many supplied EYE BOLTS is fixed to the front of the hull at or near the water line (they are extremely small and made from extremely thin (possibly only 0.3mm) wire. The supplied instruction manual does NOT mention anything in the words or diagrams - it are really dreadful and a lot seems to be left to the builder to work out for themselves. Never another Billings boat kit!

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